There’s an app for that!

Her eyes bugged out
(like reason on the run)
and spittle flew
as she waggled her sign
and bawled her slogans
like incantations.
She thought she was sharing Jesus…
she thought in vain,
as people parted
and passed her by
like the Red Sea shrinking
back from the touch
of Pharaoh’s Army tred.

But one true girl,
too young to see
her crazed and frothing fear
marched up to her
like Moses’s Staff,
and tugged at her
drab and brown mask,
until the woman noticed
and looked down,
to see what missive
the little gift of grace might impart.

“Ya know there is an app for that!”
she said forcefully!
The woman’s eyebrows crawled up
like earthworms from the light,
and the girl saw her question,
and simply answered
“For hate and meanness,
there is an app for that.

It’s called Love”.

She walked away,
and the woman was left behind,
bereft of even her hate…
but pregnant with
the path and possibility of following
where a little child will lead.


The Golden End

So blows the wind,
blowzy and loud
Tugging, tickling and
talking of life
on the water
Without boats,
without pride.

I have squirmed,
crawled, walked
and danced this far
and the air
shimmers and shivers
(a puppy wanting petted)
And She sings on the wind
to step off the end
and walk on water,
walk on Love,


So I raise my silver sail
and rise up heart first
dancing over mercury waves
and cobalt deep blue to
merge with the golden end.


Broken Kaliedoscopes

I wrote this poem this morning, after thinking most of the day about the notion that when we seek to understand our identity, we risk losing the gestalt of our Self…reducing ourselves inadvertently as we seek to understand ourselves.  This fracturing may perhaps be necessary as a beginning, even as when we want to create an amazing dish we must first understand the components and how they go together and interact.  But ultimately, each facet, each ingredient must willingly give up the ghost of its independence, and join the unity to become married into the dish.  Otherwise, the dish fails.

We define ourselves by gender, by sexuality, by occupation, by spiritual allegiance or lack thereof, by ideal, philosophies or concept.

What if all of those things were like the stones and glass shards of a kaleidoscope?  What if they all could marry, come together, and we might actually be something far more wonderful and complex…and simple?  And what if the kaleidoscope of me was a mere shard going with the kaleidoscope of you…and you…and you…until we were a blazing mandala of God extending thoughout His universe in His hand and we would ride on Her song and shine for Their Glory forever?

This poem is about that…the idea is a deep one, and needs to be unpacked inside you for days, perhaps months or years…I know that I am understanding ingredients easily, but only just realising that they must now conjoin, and consummate this marriage of me.tumblr_mme6u64gGM1qdh7g0o1_500Bright colored stones and lacy graceful glass,
Refract the Light and bend it beautiful…
(our world is bent so Grace responded with
refracted Beauty), hand to grasp, hold hope
and twist that tube, Tender Kaliedoscope.
And wakeful bright and peering eager eyes
convert sensed input into wondrous meaning,
Glad riot glorious, such brilliant beauty
a visual symphonic concert singing.2-v4lg89The sullen bully was afraid to look,
afraid to feel, so afraid to become
a subject. His hand ragged, rudely rough,
and she, her slattern eyes sloppy with fear…

Their mouths shot stones and cannonaded curses,
cascades of clouting shouting wounding words
until I broke, until I shattered final
and glad glass, patterned fragments intricate
of my me placed just so to catch the light
and burst with grace that glowed and shone brilliant
to beauty forth with glory-shine and SHINE…tumblr_mzxm204mls1rw5ktmo1_500

Now broken, fallen shattered, they were able
to clench at last, to fumble furiously
To grasp and rape and ravage with their fingers
and hot insinuating tones of terror…
they grab a bloody shard and cut themselves
and cut each other “proving” I was poison
reducing me to that fragmented shard
and say they named me, no more numinous.tumblr_mzzqvsLAI01s5u2cno1_500But I rebel, reject their brutal label,
and gather up the pieces of my beauty
and bring them, mourning to my tender Lady
and lay them down there, shattered and so dull
and praying, hoping, believing and knowing
She is my Mama, Warrior-Sister too
and She will integrate me intimately,
so that I coalesce to shine again
and turn in faith and love and shine in Hope
that I’m no more Broken KaleidoscopeImage 2


Underneath the Surface

Will you look?
There, beneath
grey quicksilver waves…
Under brown boulders
lashed by billows and tides
Wreathed in seaweed strands
of surface stuff that clings
and grasps and changes
ever in riptides and caustic currents.

Will you look?
There, I am sitting
small, quietly azul and shimmering
Circumspect in flowing thoughts
Piled up like surf
queuing to rush the beach
and show themselves
in my limpid eyes,
my  starry smiles,
my liquid laughter.

Will you choose
to grant me freedom
by limiting yours freely?
Then join me, and fly
Underneath the Surface.


Roses out of Ruins

She walked, head held high
like a servant who pilfered a sweetcake
from the grouchy old cook
(who ruled her kingdom with iron,
a slave who fancied herself sovereign).

She took their glances,
their sneers, their horror
and fashioned it with cake and hope,
and bullheaded faith

To make flower out of flour,
and freedom out of fashion,
and roses out of ruins.


Freedom Face

Attacking the barrier with faces,
we dent, crack, and bust it.
We see from our side
Progress! Advancement, baby steps.
Them? We are
Cracked, obscured, broken
But the cracks run ragged, the breaks flow deeper,
and freedom’s whisper is strong
and Insistent.


The Instrument

I dip, low…
Leaning in over these words like
She moves over her cello.


My mind moves busy,
back and forth,
a bow vibrating
over those words,
seeking for
Resonance and Mystery
latent within
waiting poised,
ready for release from
just the right
strike, touch, draw.


There!  Sound it so, clarion
and my words will
Sing in your soul like
her music o’erwhelms mine.

A Delightful Child’s solution to homophobia, reposting a wonderful article

Post image for Maddie Matters: A Six-Year-Old Solves The Gay Acceptance Riddle

Maddie Matters: A Six-Year-Old Solves The Gay Acceptance Riddle



My six-year-old granddaughter Madison – Maddie to her friends – is a regular one-kid think tank. She knows “gay” means girls loving girls and boys loving boys, and while she really has no concept of the “why”, she knows there are places in the world where gay people are not accepted, and people in the world who do them violence. That’s why Nana – me – writes for The New Civil Rights Movement.

Last Saturday, I was working on Sunday’sOn Our Radar column about the “Olymbians” who are competing in Sochi, and to keep her occupied, I had Maddie help me choose their photos. Before long, she began wondering aloud how anyone could be less than awestruck by these amazing women – and for the first time she began thinking about the concept of being gay.

The conversation went like this:

Maddie: (Talking about David Badash, founder of The New Civil Rights Movement.) Does your boss know I’m not gay?
Me: It really hasn’t come up.
Maddie: Am I gay?
Me: No one can answer that for someone else. It’s like asking me if you’re hungry or sleepy.
Maddie: Is there anything else you can be? Besides regular or gay?
Me: It’s called straight, not regular. And if you are thinking about Mario and Luigi or the Monster High kids, there is no “attracted to cartoon people” category at this time.
Maddie: So just the two?
Me: Well, there’s bisexual. That’s people who are attracted to both men and women, they just fall in love with a person because of who they are on the inside.
Maddie: (Thinks about this with a scrunched up face.) Do people know about bisexual? Because if we all just say we’re bisexual no one will care who you love.
Me: An excellent plan, Maddie. I think that could work.
Maddie: You should tell your boss. He could put it on his website so Russia will know what we’re doing.

So I did. And here it is, Maddie’s childlike solution to homophobia on our grownup gay website. If only I could make her dream come true….

tncrmJean Ann Esselink is a straight friend to the gay community. Proud and loud Liberal. Closet writer of political fiction. Black sheep agnostic Democrat from a conservative Catholic family. Living in Northern Oakland County Michigan with Puck the Wonder Beagle.


Go ahead…say it!
Tear me apart and
blood me with your firetongue.
You think so little
of it.
You think your right
and you’re right
but you are just a slave owner
marking time on the old plantation
before the dispossessed
find their arms, their legs
and their tongues
to speak of freedom and
walk in your world at last.


Walmart Woman of Privilege

she ran me down
with her eyes…and words
as she walked by
clutching her child frantically.
Her angular frown glowered
and she slid sideways with her heart and
threw up a covering
for her own panic…
but that covering
was a wall to me, a barrier,
and her cruel mouth and
silent slashing slap to my face
cut me, gashed me,
and left me trapped and alone
behind the barrier that
only the outcast can see and feel



She laughed as she thought about that
sideways thinker,
or was he just hungry,
the one who first thought to look past shells
and the smell of seafood…
limpets, mussels, clams, shrimp, snails,
oysters (omg shudder shiver).

Desperate, or bored?
Interested or Inspired?

No matter…what a world he opened up, what a
feast of delicate and wondrous
flavors, aromas, delights.

I lick my fingers,
and suck butter out of my
garlic escargot, and ask Lady Grace
to give me courage to look
past shells, smells, false tells,
with no fear and great inspiration
to find true treasure in everyone I meet
drawn up from
God’s Great Sea.